A Pennsylvania resident has to give up a lot when they decide that it is time to move into a residential care facility or nursing home. They may have to stop driving and may have to rely on others to fix their meals and help them take their medications. They may also need support bathing, using the restroom, and even getting dressed. Entering a nursing home can mean giving up a great deal of independence in exchange for getting help with important everyday tasks.
The nursing home death of an American woman in a neighboring cold-weather state may have caught the attention of Pennsylvanians. The incredibly tragic and preventable nature of her death has brought the story to national headlines and once again brings attention to the very real threats that individuals can face when they enter nursing and residential homes that fail to protect their health and safety.
A nursing or care home should be a comfortable place where a loved one may find care and support for their medical and occupational needs. Though not all nursing homes are fancy, many provide aging Pennsylvanians with safe places to live out their years under the care of individuals who truly have their best interests in mind. Individuals rarely hear about these types of facilities, though, as it is often the dangerous and abuse-ridden nursing homes that appear as stories on the evening news.
When a loved one dies it can be a traumatic experience for those who they have left behind. Particularly when the deceased party passes on unexpectedly, the experience can be difficult for the survivors to accept. While accidents and sudden illnesses claim the lives of Pennsylvanians each and every day, deaths in nursing homes are also a source of unexpected losses.
Deaths at nursing homes are unfortunately common. It is generally the case that when a Pittsburgh resident cannot care for themselves and requires ongoing medical treatment and care that they may be moved into a facility that is prepared to assist them with their daily needs. It is often the elderly and infirm who require the services of nursing home facilities, and individuals who are parts of these populations may be closer to the ends of their lives than their healthier, younger counterparts.
Nursing homes and long-term care facilities provide residential experiences for many Pennsylvanians who cannot live on their own or attend to their personal and medical needs. In a nursing home, a person may receive assistance with the most basic elements of getting through the day, from getting to and eating meals to bathing and taking their medications. Because nursing home residents can require a great deal of time and attention instances of neglect and abuse can occur when facilities are understaffed or ill-equipped to address their residents' needs.
Nursing homes and residential care facilities are often utilized by individuals who cannot take care of themselves. As residents of these facilities, they may receive necessary medical support, assistance with performing daily tasks, and have their days managed by individuals who are paid to see that their needs are met. However, for an alarming number of Pennsylvanians, and individuals throughout the rest of the country, nursing and care homes fail in their duties to provide safety and support, and end up inflicting pain and suffering upon those they are charged to attend.
When a family makes the decision to enter their elderly or disabled loved one into a nursing home, the decision is made with the assumption that the facility will provide adequate and satisfactory care. This means that the patient and now resident will receive all the necessary meals and medication, will have the living area regularly cleaned and linens washed, will be showered or cleaned regularly, and will have social activities when applicable, all in an effort to make the patient's life as pain-free, healthy and enjoyable as possible.
One of the most difficult decisions for a family is what to do with an elderly or disabled loved one who is no longer able to take care of him or herself. The natural aging process means that our bodies start to deteriorate and are more susceptible to injuries, illness and disease. This often means that an elderly loved one is now in need of constant care.
It is an unfortunate fact of life that we all must face aging and death eventually. As we get older, various biological systems begin to function less efficiently, and sometimes break down entirely. When this occurs, even the healthiest of us can find ourselves in a position of needing to be cared for by medical professionals. It can be difficult to watch a loved one go through not being able to completely care for him- or herself, especially when that individual was an independent person.